Sixers Roster: Make or Break Season for Doc Rivers

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The Sixers roster has started up their 7-game home-stand with four straight wins led by the reigning NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week Joel Embiid. Since returning home, Joel Embiid has been dominant including a 53-point performance against Charlotte last week. Aside from these results, however, it’s no secret that Philly is not playing their best basketball. Because of this, Head Coach Doc Rivers is being put on the hot seat.

Problem with the Sixers Roster

Headed into tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors, the Sixers roster has been sluggish on the glass, and it shows. The Sixers currently hold 28th out of 30 NBA teams in offensive rebounds and are 29th in total rebounds allowed according to Statmuse. Their defensive rating also currently stands at 28th as well.

These noted stats are a tough look for a team that came into the 2022/23 season with high hopes due to their off-season acquisitions. The Sixers’ busy off-season included the additions of P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton, both are viewed as scrappy hardworking defenders who fight hard for rebounds. Looking at the Sixers’ lackluster rebounding and lazy defending leads to an inevitable question: What is going wrong?

Many analysts are quick to point the blame toward the head coach when a team is underperforming. But when a team’s errors are lazy rebounding and defending it most certainly is a coaching issue. From a coaching standpoint, the talent on the Sixers roster is undoubtedly better than it appeared. It’s a Doc Rivers issue if this problem isn’t figured out, bottom line.

With superstars like Joel Embiid and James Harden, the window for a Sixers NBA championship is here and the team can’t afford Doc Rivers squandering the opportunity.

Lucky against the Lakers

Sloppy basketball is what makes or breaks teams in late-game scenarios. Philly’s lucky win against Los Angeles last week goes to show exactly why Sixers fans are worried. In a game that the Sixers led for most of the contest, 21 turnovers were committed by Philly. The worst of which was a horrendous inbounds pass thrown away by Tobias Harris with 7.1 seconds left in the 4th quarter.

The turnover put Lakers star Anthony Davis on the free-throw line and gave the Lakers a chance to ice the game with two made free throws. Just seconds before this, Lakers guard Austin Reaves was fouled by Matisse Thybulle while shooting a three. Both plays happened with less than ten seconds to go in the 4th, and both plays would have potentially won the game for the Lakers if Davis and Reaves made their free throws. For a team with championship aspirations like Philly has, late-game mistakes like these are unacceptable.

After Sixers President Daryl Morey’s aggressive off-season, it’s clear that Philly’s in a “win now” mentality. Doc’s first two seasons as Sixers head coach resulted in Eastern Conference Semi-final elimination. A third straight year achieving this or anything below this wouldn’t sit right with Philly fans. As the Sixers’ season progresses, it’s clear that the floor will be shrinking under Doc’s feet.

In a long NBA season, things can be turned around. With four straight wins and the return of guard Tyrese Maxey looming, there’s a lot to look forward to. But the pressure that will be on Doc Rivers over the next four months cannot be overstated.

Let us know your thoughts on Doc Rivers 2022/23 season and the Sixers roster in the comments below!

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